States of Emergency
December 17, 2001
Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi by Katherine Frank (Houghton Mifflin, 448 pp., $35) I. The glassy memorial that stands in the garden where Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards in 1984 is among the most visited secular sites in India. Morning and afternoon, busloads of Indians arrive from across the country, whole families together, young and old, noisy but respectful. Nearly twenty years dead, Mrs. Gandhi stays vivid in popular memory. In the view of most Indians, she was the best prime minister that they have ever had.
Mrs. Gandhi's Watergate
July 19, 1975
India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has locked up droves of her political enemies. She has suspended constitutional rights and imposed such drastic press censorship that even publishing news of the censorship rules is banned. More than 1000 persons have been jailed, including the venerable Jayaprakash Narayan, the prominent associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Mrs. Gandhi's current troubles began with her conviction by a local Allahabad judge for two minor election abuses. These involved taking undue advantage of her prime ministerial office to wage her personal political wars.